Despite US sanctions on Iran, the latter’s pursuit of more advanced ballistic missiles and space-launch capability has not abated, said Uzi Rubin, retired Israeli air force brigadier general. “It has not slowed down, it is accelerating,” he said during a Capitol Hill address on July 19 hosted by AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association. Rubin said “lack of information” does not equate to “lack of activity” by the Iranians. While Iran’s last publicly announced ballistic missile test was in February 2011 and its last space launch test was in February 2012, there is evidence that testing continues, he said, citing the Shahab and Fateh programs. Further, satellite images showed three unsuccessful space launch attempts later in 2012, and one in 2013, noted Rubin. Sanctions don’t work, he said, because Iran has enough resources to continue on its own and the Iranians can also bribe officials, smuggle in hardware, and purchase items on the black market. For more on Iranian missile proliferation, see the National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s 2013 report on ballistic and cruise missile threats (full document; caution, large-sized file).
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.